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Viewing cable 08ISLAMABAD525, SCENESETTER FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ISLAMABAD525 2008-02-05 14:02 2010-11-30 21:09 SECRET Embassy Islamabad
VZCZCXYZ0004
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIL #0525/01 0361432
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 051432Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 000525 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

PERSONAL FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN FROM ANNE PATTERSON 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PK
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN 

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d) 

1. (S) Summary. We look forward to your visit to begin the 
process of strengthening and refocusing our military to 
military relations with Pakistan's CJCS General Majid and 
COAS Kayani. This has become increasingly urgent because of 
the expanding insurgency in the tribal areas and attacks 
against GOP targets. We need to bring more discipline to the 
Coalition Support Funds (CSF), FMF and IMET programs we 
established in the wake of September 11 so they better 
support our counter-terrorism objectives. You may wish to 
follow up on the visit of the DNI and the DCIA to push 
Musharraf and Kayani on our objectives, including pressing 
all of them on expanded U.S. training and mil-mil and 
intelligence cooperation If you can set the scene for needed 
reforms, we can follow up during the annual bilateral 
Consultative Defense Group meeting in the spring. Although 
they are concerned about the 2009 expiration of the 
President's financial commitment to Pakistan, the military is 
reluctant to make necessary reforms. Your visit will help 
change their attitude. 

2. (C) At the same time, I would like to discuss with you 
the assignment of more American officers in ODRP. We cannot 
have more effective military to military relations until we 
have more American officers on the ground. It will still be 
a long and painful struggle to improve relations, but the 
presence of more American officers is a minimal condition. 
End Summary. 

Political Uncertainty 
--------------------- 

3. (C) A year ago, Musharraf's popularity was high; we were 
working together to support a smooth transition to a civilian 
government. Beginning with his decision to fire the Chief 
Justice in March 2007, Musharraf has made repeated political 
blunders culminating in a state of emergency (SOE) and 
temporary suspension of the constitution. He is increasingly 
isolated after firing long-time advisors who disagreed with 
some of these decisions. 

4. (C) The February 18 elections are too close to call. No 
party will win enough votes to form a government alone, and 
the current game is one of coalition building. Musharraf's 
party remains well organized in the critical Punjab, but the 
state of emergency, Bhutto's assassination, rising food 
prices and electricity outages have cut his job approval 
rating to 15% in the latest polls. Most analysts predict a 
surge in sympathy votes for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party 
(PPP), but security concerns and a PPP leadership struggle 
could reduce turnout and undercut this surge. 

5. (C) If street expectations for a PPP victory are 
disappointed, many are predicting violence, especially in 
Bhutto's home province of Sindh. We can work with any of the 
likely candidates for Prime Minister. But it may take weeks 
or even months after the election before a new Prime Minister 
is chosen and Pakistan again has a functional government that 
can focus on tackling extremism and necessary economic 
reform. 

Security Concerns/Army Challenges 
--------------------------------- 

6. (C) The January/February bombings in Lahore, Karachi, 
Peshawar and Rawalpindi have further raised security 
concerns, especially for political candidates. Suicide 
bombings were practically unheard of in Pakistan two years 
ago; in 2007, over 600 people died in suicide attacks 
attributed to Baitullah Mehsud and other militants. 
Militants have become increasingly emboldened, attacking 
police, Army and intelligence targets. The Army was called 
out to provide additional security during the Islamic month 
of Muharram and will be deployed in sensitive polling areas 
during the elections. 

7. (C) Neither the Army nor the security services would 
relish the prospect of adding post-election riot control in 
Sindh to their currently full plate. Military operations in 
Swat have been reasonably successful, but the Army will 
likely have to maintain a significant presence there into the 
spring. In the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), 
the Army has been working to prevent Sunni-Shia' violence, 
exacerbated this year by militant involvement. In the 
Waziristans, the government is encouraging rival tribes to 
counter the influence of Baitullah Mehsud and his Uzbek 
recruits. 

8. (C) The militants continue to control the agenda; the 
Army's currently limited strategy is one of containment 
rather than pro-active engagement. Since they cannot defeat 

ISLAMABAD 00000525 002 OF 002 


Mehsud with military action alone, they are renewing 
negotiations, hoping this time to deal from a greater ground 
position of strength. Attacks on the Pak-Afghan border are 
significantly lower than they have been in the past two 
years, but we are seeing signs that militants are moving back 
into Afghanistan ahead of the annual spring offensive. 

9. (C) We are making progress on the Security Development 
Plan (SDP) for the Frontier Corps, although Musharraf may 
complain about aid levels. Progress on the tripartite Border 
Coordination Centers (BCC) has not been quick enough. We 
will brief you on our FATA development strategy and how the 
SDP supports livelihood and other programs now being 
implemented in FATA. 

Nuclear Weapons 
--------------- 

10. (C) Pakistan's leadership is increasingly frustrated 
over media reports that its nuclear weapons are about to fall 
into extremist hands. In January, both the Foreign Secretary 
and General Majid called me in to protest U.S. reports 
questioning the security of the GOP's nuclear weapons. You 
will meet with the Director of the Special Plans Division 
LtGen (ret) Kidwai who, at the Embassy's urging, recently 
provided briefings to the diplomatic corps and the 
international press on the organizational structure and 
personnel controls that safeguard Pakistan's nuclear weapons. 
As demonstrated by the February 1 test of its Ghauri/Hatf V 
missile, Pakistan continues development of its missile and 
nuclear programs as a deterrent to India's conventional force 
capability. 

Meeting Agendas 
--------------- 

11. (C) Separately, we are providing briefing papers 
covering our proposals to bring better discipline to CSF, 
regularize FMF based on a mutual needs assessment, increase 
IMET opportunities, and launch SOFA negotiations and MOA 
talks on improving transshipment of fuel and cargo to support 
U.S. forces in Afghanistan. 

12. (C) General Majid: You will find Pakistan's Joint 
Staff a young and weak organization, but CJCS Majid is an 
excellent interlocutor. The lunch he is hosting will provide 
an opportunity to deliver our messages on the need for CSF 
and FMF discipline. 

13. (S) General Kayani: As expected, Kayani is taking slow 
but deliberate steps to distance the Army from now civilian 
President Musharraf. Kayani announced that generals would 
need his permission to meet the President, issued public 
statements distancing the Army from civilian politics and is 
rumored to be considering a decision to remove active duty 
Army officers from civilian GOP jobs. Kayani also has 
declared 2008 as the "Year of the Soldier" in an attempt to 
improve morale. Privately, he has discouraged ISI 
interference in elections. With Kayani, you should stress 
the importance of accepting U.S. COIN training and building 
Pakistani CI capabilities. 

14. (C) President Musharraf: You will find Musharraf 
increasingly defensive and unsure of how to reverse his 
growing unpopularity ahead of parliamentary elections. In 
your meeting, I would recommend that you ask him to appoint a 
Pakistani "czar" to coordinate security and development 
projects in the tribal areas. This coordination will be 
critical in implementing the USG's $750 million FATA program 
and supporting DOD's strategy in the tribal areas. Musharraf 
and Kayani will likely raise slow CSF reimbursement because 
an economic cash crunch has heightened the GOP's need for CSF 
payments. The latest $282 million payment should be released 
in mid-February. He will raise slow delivery of training and 
equipment to the Frontier Corps. You will want to follow up 
on some of the specific issues raised by the DNI and the DCIA.